Я понимаю, что многие родители склонны от проповедуемого предыдущими поколениями "строгого воспитания" слишком сильно накрениться в сторону "защитить и утешить". Я сама очень много и часто над этим думаю. Я абсолютно уверена, что тут нужен какой-то разумный баланс, и совершенно не могу сформулировать никакие конкретные характеристики или индикаторы, когда нужно и можно дать "упасть", а когда - поддержать. Хотя по жизни, кажется, это у меня получилось :)
Vickie Falcone's daughter lost a puzzle piece when she was 3.
The girl was as distraught as a 3-year-old could be.
"I remember thinking I could run around and find the piece, or I could sit with her being with that feeling," said Falcone, relationship coach and author of "Buddha Never Raised Kids & Jesus Didn't Drive Carpool." "It was uncomfortable, but I didn't want to rescue her all the time."
It rains on beach days, crayons break and toys run out of batteries. Later on, friends become enemies, boyfriends turn into ex-boyfriends, and kids fail tests.
If children don't learn how to deal with disappointment from a very early age, they won't cope when they have big disappointments as adults.
"All lives will have disappointments, so learn how to deal with them," said Roy Baumeister, a social psychologist and author of "Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength."
A recent study by researchers at the University of Arizona found that kids who were over-parented and weren't disappointed had an exaggerated sense of entitlement. They became adults who were less confident about overcoming challenges.
"Disappointment happens not only to kids, but to all of us on a daily basis starting from a really young age," said Madeline Levine, San Francisco-based author of "The Price of Privilege" and "Teach Your Children Well." The baby cries, and you're 30 seconds late to pick him up, or he can't figure out how to crawl to his toy.
"It's important to continue to make this a regular part of life, and I think you should start doing it really early — it's like a vaccination," Levine said.
She suggests using age-appropriate disappointments, like refusing to give kids candy — so that they build resilience for big disappointments that may come later, such as a broken engagement.
"You're doing a great favor by helping them use their resources to problem solve," Levine said.
But it's tempting not to do it, Levine said, describing one mother whose 11-year-old wasn't invited to a birthday party — so she threw a more extravagant birthday party, inviting the same children.
"That sort of thinking is miserable for a kid because it's retaliatory and does nothing to help the child to think through it: 'Is there a reason why I wasn't invited? Why does it matter to me? Should I talk to this girl?'" Levine asked. "There's a checklist of things that help us deal with disappointment."
That's why you need to tolerate it when your children are distressed, she said.
Falcone likened it to a biology experiment she did in school when she wasn't allowed to help a chick hatch. If she helped the chicken hatch in the egg, the chick would die.
"They needed the exercise, the struggle of pushing against the shell, to strengthen its muscles to stand and walk and get itself around," Falcone said.
For parents — particularly those who have always rescued their children — it's not too late to work on building resiliency.
You could begin with homework or with the morning routine, Falcone said. Don't race over to help with homework; let your child struggle to get herself dressed.
It's not necessary to announce big changes are coming, Falcone said.
"Tiny little steps will help," she said.
Falcone also suggested enlisting support when you start making changes. The hardest part of disappointing a child is fearing that you're going to let him down or lose his love, Falcone said. But neither will be the case, and a friend or therapist may help keep you on track, she said.